Harley-Davidson has been asked to pay a $12 million civil penalty and discontinuing the sale of aftermarket "super tuners" that overrode electronic pollution and emissions controls on motorcycles. In a settlement with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which was entered into in 2016, Harley-Davidson said it agreed to pay a fine and not sell tuning products unless they are approved by the EPA or California Air Resources Board. The new order dropped an earlier requirement from 2016 that Harley-Davidson spend an additional $3 million to reduce air pollution.
In 2016, Harley-Davidson agreed to pay a $12 million civil fine, and stop selling illegal after-market devices that caused its vehicles to emit too much pollution. Harley had also agreed to spend about $3 million to retrofit or replace wood-burning appliances with cleaner stoves to offset excess emissions. After four years of negotiations, a US judge has approved the settlement, despite widespread objections from environmental groups and a group of ten states, including New York, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Massachusetts.
Harley-Davidson did not admit liability in the original case, and argued that the 3,40,000 "super tuners" the company had sold since 2008 were designed to be used in competition, and not road-going motorcycles. In fact, Harley-Davidson says that since 2016, it only sold tuners certified by the California Air Resources Board and halted sale of the tuners in question and destroyed tuners returned by dealers. Harley-Davidson said in filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has accrued funds to pay the penalty and it will not adversely affect the company's financial condition.